HDMI vs. Component Conflicting Views


Old 04-30-07, 08:22 AM
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HDMI vs. Component Conflicting Views

I've read conflicting views on which is better HDMI or component, and I'm wondering if any impartial experts can clear things up for me.

The sales associate that sold me my plasma TV said I'll want HDMI. My TV is a 42" Panasonic (TH-42PX75U) with 720p resolution. But, his store also sells the cables, which are about $25 more than component cables.

My cable company (Comcast) also said I should get set up with HDMI, but I have to pay extra per month (b/c the only HDMI receiver they have is also a DVR, so I'd have to pay for that service).

Then, on the internet I've found one article that HDMI will only make a difference for "truly" digital TVs, of which plasma are not (the article says they are analog). And, there are many others that dispute that HDMI is truly better than component.

Not sure if its a factor, but I'll be running the connection from the TV to a wallplate, runing the cable through walls, and connecting the component at another wall plate. Probably a total distance of about 40 feet (conservatively, if I have run the wires the longest distance).

Any insight you can provide is much appreciated.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:55 AM
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HDMI is the way to go. Honestly, you will probably not notice much of a difference in picture quality between component and HDMI. They are both very good for both 720p and 1080i. When things start to broadcast in 1080p, then the difference may be a little greater.

One other advantage to HDMI is that it carries sound, too. So, if you don't want to have your receiver and speakers on while watching TV, you can use the speakers built into your TV (if you have them) with only one cable, instead of 5 (3 Component for video and 2 composite for sound).

If you can afford it, go with the HDMI. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the component cables.

Good luck.
Old 04-30-07, 05:12 PM
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Please let us know where you found this article - just point to the general web site. You can't post the url, but you can pm it to me.
I could use the laugh.

There are plasma screens that are EDT - enhanced definition. HDMI is a waste for these.
But any TV that is HD is going to be digital, not analog. HDMI is superior than component because HDMI carries the digital signal. For component - the HD signal is converted to analog and sent over the cables. Once it reaches your TV, it is converted BACK to digital. You will have some loss with these conversions.
Old 05-03-07, 07:08 PM
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I have HDMI and component hooked up to my Sony.
I don't see a dang bit of a difference.
Thus, I'm using the component BECAUSE I have more faith in the Optical Digital audio for 5.1DD

Old 05-03-07, 07:46 PM
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I have an LG 42" plasma with Directv HD. There are issues with HDMI chipset compatibility, and the HDMI did not work right. I hooked up the component outs and was happy with that. I have a different reciever now, and the HDMI works. I can tell you that I can't see a difference between component and HDMI.

If you do go with HDMI, don't swindled into buying those high-dollar cables. Get the cheap ones.

Joe Michel
Old 05-05-07, 01:02 PM
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If you are worrid between the having to get a DVR to get HDMI, don't. Just get the plain cable box if the DVR service is going to be a worry.
Old 05-05-07, 06:34 PM
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You won't see much difference between HDMI and component because most of what is broadcast as HD, is really upconverted to 720 or 1080i. The rest is dependant on the quality of the HD camera used and the quality of the braodcast equipment. The quality of the equipment is improving.

Another issue is that many cable boxes can have their output adjusted. Too many are defaulted to 720p even thought the tv may be able to handle 1080i. If the signal was in 1080i, its down-converted to the 720p.

As for the price of HDMI - after paying $3000 on a tv, why skimp $50 on the cable? That's like putting $50 tires on a Porsche.
Old 05-09-07, 05:54 AM
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A couple of articles you should read, written by someone who has no reason to favor either HDMI or component.


In practice, any differences between the picture quality between HDMI and component video are likely to be the result of different calibrations between the inputs rather than any difference between the type of signal. Some people report their component video inputs give better PQ than HDMI. Others say their HDMI is better. My neighbor and I did some "blind" testing on his 1080p TV, and could not see any difference between HDMI and component.

Right now HDMI has two advantages. It's a single cable solution, and if you have an upconverting DVD player some of them will only upconvert over HDMI (blame the movie studios for this one). Disadvantages - problems over long cable runs, and compatibility issues between different HDMI implementations.
In the future, HDMI will give you the ability to adjust A/V sync, if you have HDMI 1.3 full implementations on both your TV and A/V receiver (this will be new equipment - starting to become available this year).

And spending "monster" type money on HDMI cables is a complete waste. Unless you have a faulty cable, you will not see any difference in picture quality between a $20 cable and a $120 cable, except you will have a lighter wallet. Go to bluejeanscable, or to monoprice, on the web, and get great cables at great prices.

Warning: while 40ft is usually no problem with component video, it can be a problem for HDMI. You will need to go with 22AWG (thick) cables, and if your distance gets to 50ft or more you may need an equalizer. Check with monoprice/bluejeanscable before ordering.
Old 06-03-07, 08:35 PM
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Let's face it - HDMI exists solely because the motion picture people are forcing it on us for copyright reasons, though they market it for quality and the convenience of 1 cable for audio and video. As long as you don't need it to go too far.

My Sony DVD upconverts to 1080i but only on HDMI. I won't be buying any more Sony stuff because of it. Although to be fair, perhaps their hands are tied...?

There are adapters available if you know where to look to solve problems like that, but that's more of my $$$ spent to get around what the MPAA is trying to cram down our throats.
Old 06-04-07, 07:07 PM
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HDMI has nothing to do with the Motion picture industry directly.

HDMI is just an improvement on DVI, DVI first used for LCD PC monitors. Yes, HDMI is encumbered by HDCP by the studios wish.

Upconverting DVD players are also "ruled" by the studios to only upconvert to HDMI, that is not Sony's problem, all upconverting DVD manufacturers must follow those rules.
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